epaulet

or ep·au·lette

[ep-uh-let, -lit, ep-uh-let]

Origin of epaulet

1775–85; < French épaulette, equivalent to épaule shoulder (< Latin spatula blade; see spatula) + -ette -ette
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for epaulettes

epaulet

n.

1783, from French épaulette (16c.), diminutive of épaule "shoulder," from Old French espaule (12c.), from Latin spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," later "shoulder blade," diminutive of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Greek spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper